Let us tarry a little longer in the kirktown of Kemnay, or, as it was described in an article in 1859, 'the village of Kemnay.' In those far off days before the advent of supermarkets and the like, every parish and community was dependant on its artisans for its very existence.
In any rural community of the past, if one came across a smiddy, there was every likelihood of finding a joiner's workshop nearby. The work of the smith and the joiner or vricht to northeasters, went hand in hand as in cart work, wheel work and many other country services of the time where the joiner did the woodwork and the smith supplied all the metal work.
We are unsure when George Gellie returned from Jersey, but his sojourn does not appear to have been long as in 1891 he was staying at Overtown of Fetternear with his wife, daughters Eleanor Ann (13) and Jessie (10) and four servants. In 1901 he was staying at Westown of Ranna, Tarland and his occupation is given as farmer and proprietor.
I dare say there are quite a few people in the village these days who cannot remember Alehousewells as a green field site. There would be less who can remember life at the Ra' and when the first house you came to on the way to the village was Hazel Cottage, where Stewart Niddrie stayed at the front door and Babby Michael stayed round the back and upstairs.
James Meston, a merchant at Bankhead Keig received a lease of land near Kemnay Village at Whitsunday 1872. This was a triangular piece of land lying to the west of the Alford Section of the Great North of Scotland Railway immediately north of the bridge at the railway station.